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University of Minnesota Extension

Soybean Farmers Needed for on Farm Research Project

Soybean Farmers Needed for on Farm Research Project

By Katie Drewitz, University of Minnesota Extension 

PRESTON and CALEDONIA, Minn. (04/19/2022) —The University of Minnesota Extension is looking for soybean farmers to participate in on farm research. We are looking for 100 farmers to fill out an online survey providing information about their production practices and provide us with corresponding yield maps. In addition, we are looking for 10 farmers to volunteer their farm for bi-weekly scouting throughout the 2022 growing season. 


North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP) is supporting a multistate and multiyear project to develop a decision tool for US soybean farmers that uses data collected through online surveys plus limited ground-truthing on selected farms. By amassing three years of data (2022-2024) on important variables of a field’s productivity, data can be related to farm profitability outcomes. After successful validation in 2024, the tool will be converted to a user-friendly online cropping system decision tool. This will be an open source, big data tool with the potential to provide farmers field level information for optimal cropping systems and management practices that can increase farm profitability. By including Minnesota farmer data while building this tool, it ensures that the tool will be calibrated for use by Minnesota farmers. 


Surveys will require information on field location and detailed information on crop/field/input management, such as planting date, soybean variety, and tillage method. We will also ask for field average yields as well as uploaded yield monitor data for each field. Survey information will be combined with data on yield-limiting biotic factors, yield, soil properties, in-season weather, and remote sensing data. 


This project will require in-season scouting in a select set of soybean fields and will take place on a bi-weekly basis. We would like to have a minimum of 8-10 different farmers with multiple fields per farm (if possible). Selected fields will be chosen specifically to allow for large environmental variability and expected pest pressure. Scouting will occur in all three years of the project to examine year to year weather and pest presence variation. 


Individual field data and farmer contact information will be kept strictly confidential. Please join us and participate in this unique project that will benefit North Central soybean farmers for years to come! Contact your local Extension educator for additional information. Fillmore and Houston County residents can call the Fillmore County Extension office at 507-765-3896, the Houston County Extension office at 507-725-5807, or directly at wins0115@umn.edu, or my cell at 507-951-6609.


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